Jacqui (The Walking Dead)
|The Walking Dead character|
|Created by||Robert Kirkman|
|Portrayed by||Jeryl Prescott Sales|
|Occupation||Atlanta City Zoning Office worker|
Fictional character biography
In the episode "Guts", Jacqui is one of the members of the survivor group who left the refugee game to gather supplies in Atlanta with Glenn, Andrea, T-Dog, Merle, and Morales. Rick encounters the group after Glenn rescues him, and they try to figure out a way to escape from the department store they are trapped in. Jacqui revealed that she was an employee at the Atlanta City Zoning Office, and uses her knowledge of the building's sub-basement sewer system to suggest a plan. When this fails, Rick and Glenn get some cars to help escape, and Jacqui watches from the roof, and then climbs aboard a truck they bring back. In the episode "Tell It to the Frogs", Jacqui helps out around the survivor camp, and witnesses along with Andrea and Amy as Ed Peletier smacks his wife Carol, and then Shane beats Ed. In the episode "Vatos", Jacqui enjoys dinner around a fire with her fellow survivors, when walkers overrun the camp and kill Amy, Ed, and others. In the episode "Wildfire", Jacqui notices that Jim had been bitten during the attack, and helps care for him. When Dale's RV breaks down, Jim asks to be left behind on the road. She accompanies the rest of the band to the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control. In the episode "TS-19", Dr. Edwin Jenner lets Jacqui and the rest of the group into the CDC. At first, she believes the CDC will have a cure and save them, and she despairs with the rest of the group when they learn that is untrue and that the building will soon self-destruct. She elects to remain behind with Dr. Jenner despite T-Dog's efforts to get her to escape with the rest of the group. Jacqui insists that this was the only sane choice, and stays with Jenner, holding his hand and crying when the building explodes.
As was the case with Jim and Amy, Jacqui is mentioned frequently after her death, often with remorse for her decision. In the episode "Hounded", hers is the third voice Rick hears on the phone. She draws confessions and justifications from Rick about his refusal to speak of his wife's death, and the caller mentions his name, causing Rick to question her about her knowledge before she hangs up.
Development and reception
Jacqui was portrayed by actress Jeryl Prescott Sales, a native of Winston-Salem. She described having The Walking Dead as her first experience recurring on a series "as surreal as zombies. It's everything I hoped for and more than I dared to imagine." Prescott was originally cast for just two episodes of the premiere season of The Walking Dead. However, her character, Jacqui, was then written into the series cast of the season as well. Leonard Pierce of The A.V. Club felt that few of the new characters introduced in "Guts" as part of the scavenger group were "especially well-drawn as characters", referring to Jacqui as a cypher.
Prescott says of learning of the fate of her character in "TS-19", "When I first read about Jacqui's choice at the CDC, I was shocked. But my job as the actor is to find the truth in that moment, and I had to focus on that task [...] when Frank Darabont and Gale Hurd are at the helm of a history-making TV show, you probably shouldn't second-guess their choices. I went on an amazing ride with Jacqui, and I'm supposed to leave them wanting more, right?" Leonard Pierce felt that "Jacqui's death just generated a shrug, since we didn't know much about her to begin with". Alan Sepinwall of HitFix commented that while Dale stayed for Andrea, "no such effort was made by anyone else for Jacqui, who never really got any character development and was there mainly so someone from the group could die with Jenner".
- "TV Tidbits: Local actress discusses season finale of 'Walking Dead'". Winston-Salem Journal. 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- Pierce, Leonard (November 7, 2010). "Guts". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
- Pierce, Leonard (December 5, 2010). "TS-19". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- Sepinwall, Alan (December 6, 2010). "'The Walking Dead' - 'TS-19': Paradise lost?". HitFix. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- New Jersey. "'The Walking Dead' recap: Seance hotline". NJ.com. Retrieved 2012-12-02.